23 January 2012

Dwight Freeney is ridiculously tough

This is from ESPN's #NFLAnyEra series, wherein a number of old-school football players talk about modern guys who they think would have fit in well across a wide swath of NFL history. Freeney is 17th on the list.

FREENEY ON HIS TOUGHEST NFL MOMENT: Freeney severely sprained his ankle against the New York Jets trying not to hit Jets QB Mark Sanchez and avoid a personal foul penalty in the AFC Championship Game. "I got my ankle rolled up under him and it just popped. I heard it. I knew it was done."

To have his ankle fully heal, Freeney would have needed 4-6 weeks of rest and rehab. The Super Bowl against New Orleans was two weeks away.

My toughest moment in the NFL was the preparation going into the Super Bowl in 2009 against the Saints. I had a third-degree high ankle sprain, which means my ligaments were completely blown in my ankle, completely torn in my ankle. I was supposed to be out 4-6 weeks and I basically only had two weeks to get ready for the Super Bowl.

It was a lot of training, rehab, making sure throughout the week I was in the hyperbaric chamber, making sure I was eating the right stuff, doing all types of rehab 24 hours a day. The preparation to try and get ready to play in the biggest moment, the biggest game of the year, so it was 24 hours of something, whether I was sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber or some type of treatment day in and day out to get my ankle good enough where I can go out and perform. The game itself was a very tough moment because as well as I could get it, it was only about 65 percent, yet I was able to go out and still perform.

I got a sack, so I was actually effective. The result of the game wasn't good, obviously we lost, but it was probably the toughest moment in the NFL that I could think of, for me, in terms of preparation, being ready for the Super Bowl, playing on an ankle that probably most people wouldn't have played on -- jeopardizing whatever just to go out and play a game, and being effective.

No comments: